Understanding The Five Love Languages for a Healthy Relationship

19 Nov

What happens if you have a different love language than your partner? I often decode the love languages and explore what you can do when you and your partner's love languages do not align.

Shot of a happy young couple relaxing in the kitchen in the at home

As a professional matchmaker, I often decode the love languages and explore what you can do when you and your partner’s love languages do not align.

A friend of mine once complained to me that her husband brought her a bunch of flowers… “They are only going to die in a few days”, she said. A few days later, he did the dishes and put away his laundry-without being asked… she was over the moon! It appeared to me that despite being married for five years, it had not occurred to her husband that his wife’s love language was not receiving gifts, it was in fact, acts of service.

Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, ignited a new way of thinking about love. Although written in 1995, it remains widely used today. In his book, he explains that people differ in their ways of showing and receiving love. In fact, there are five ways in which we receive and express love for our partners, these are: ‘gifts’, ‘acts of service’, ‘physical touch’, ‘words of affirmation’, and ‘quality time’

According to Chapman, we each have one or two preferences. For example, someone may feel loved when being showered with gifts; such as flowers or chocolates. Whereas another may feel loved when their partner does ‘acts of services’ such as walking the dog or taking out the trash.

Let’s look at another example… a guy plans an extravagant trip away for his girlfriend to spend ‘quality time together’, but on the trip, there is not enough ‘physical touch’ so his girlfriend is not as happy as he had hoped. This may leave him feeling confused and frustrated. While he believes he has done something loving and thoughtful for his girlfriend, it may not occur to him that ‘quality time’ is not his partner’s primary love language it is in fact ‘physical touch’. Someone’s love language is how they want their partner to act to feel truly loved and appreciated.

From a dating perspective, you would ideally have better synergy with someone if you speak the same love language. Otherwise, frustrations can form.

What happens if you have a different love language to your partner? These differences can creep up over time and may become apparent when one complains about not feeling loved. ‘I don’t feel like you love me’ one partner may say, ‘but I tell you I do all the time’ the puzzled partner may reply. Such disagreements may suggest a difference in love language rather than not loving one another.

Don’t worry- if you and your partner differ in your love language, there is a straightforward solution, however, it may require a little effort.

Start by learning each other’s love language; you can learn yours by identifying the behaviors or actions you would like your partner to do for you to feel truly special and loved. You then need to discuss what you can both do to make those things happen. And finally, the hardest part is to put these into practice.

If for you, actions speak louder to words, but for your partner, their heart melts with joy when you tell them you love them, then try focusing on the effect (making your partner happy) rather than the action.  By practicing this regularly, with time, initiating a love language that seemed alien to you, will become more natural. It could also add another layer of love and appreciation to your partner’s wellbeing.

At Maclynn International, we understand the importance of communication in a successful relationship and the pain which can be caused by not feeling respected or loved. With our high-quality advice and coaching to both singles and couples, we strive to help people find success in love. We have had countless experiences in helping couples who have faced barriers such as those described in this article.

We are here and are available to support you, for further guidance and support please get in touch here for a complimentary consultation.

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida Maclynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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